Thomas B. “Bingo” Fullerton
Thomas B. “Bingo” Fullerton was the first head coach of the Emory & Henry College Football Team. A charter member of the Emory & Henry Sports Hall of Fame in 1972, Fullerton also served as the head coach of the Wasps baseball and basketball teams.
Fullerton came to Emory & Henry in 1914. As athletic director, he established Emory & Henry’s philosophical and ethical foundations by devotedly championing the athletic and academic talents of students in equal measure. He served for nine years as Emory & Henry’s Head Football Coach (1915-16, 20-26).
Though intercollegiate football was banned on campus in the mid-1890’s, Fullerton petitioned the College to reverse its decision, which led to the sport’s reinstatement in 1915. Fullerton and his student-athletes physically labored to transform a campus meadow into the College’s current playing field complete with night lighting, thereby heralding a new era of football at Emory & Henry. Originally completed in 1926, Emory & Henry’s stadium is one of the oldest college football fields in continuous use in the country.
Fullerton directed all the sports of the College, stressing rules of the game, sportsmanship and hard play. His athletes respectfully bestowed upon him the nickname “Bingo” for his frequent use of the term during practice drills.
Trading in his signature three-piece suit, spats and cane for a military uniform, Fullerton took a leave of absence from Emory & Henry to serve his country during World War I. He retired to his farm near Emory in 1929.